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Antti Alanen: Film Diary: Call Me by Your Name (HIFF Opening Gala)

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Call Me by Your Name. A professsor of antiquity (Michael Stuhlbarg), his son Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer) studying ancient sculptures rescued from the Lake Garda. Please click to enlarge the image. 2017 Theme: Gala Films Director: Luca Guadagnino     Country: Brazil, Italy, France, United States     Language: English, Italian, French, German     Duration: 131 min     Subtitles: English     Rating: K12     Distribution: Sony Pictures Finland     Print source: Sony Pictures Finland     The Walt Disney Company Nordic Collaboration: Istituto italiano di cultura (Helsinki), Società Dante Alighieri Love & Anarchy, Helsinki International Film Festival (HIFF) opening gala DCP viewed at Savoy Theatre, 14 Sep 2017 Pekka Lanerva (HIFF Catalogue): " Särmikkään A Bigger Splashin (2015) jälkeen Luca Guadagnino (myös Rakkautta italialaisittain, R&A 2010) on tehnyt parhaan elokuvansa. Call Me by Your Name on sekä moderni että perinnetietoinen universaali rakkaustarina, jossa näkyy Luchino Viscontin ja Bernardo Bertoluccin kaltaisten mestareiden vaikutus. Italialaisen Guadagninon vastaus Moonlightille, Carolille ja muille viime vuosien gay-teemaisille elokuvahelmille on suurenmoinen." "Särmää myös Call Me by Your Namessa riittää, ulkopuolisuutta ja vieraantuneisuuttakin. Monipuolisen ohjaajan uutuus sijoittuu aikaan, jolloin homoseksuaalisuus oli vieläkin vaietumpaa ja vaikeampaa: ollaan 1980-luvun katolisessa Pohjois-Italiassa, maaseudun kesässä. Teini-ikäisen Elion (Timothée Chalamet) isän tutkimusassistentti, vanhempi amerikkalainen Oliver (Armie Hammer) astuu kuvaan, ja rakkaus herää – hitaasti, yllättäen, pienesti, ja sitten suuresti." "Guadagnino kuljettaa André Acimanin romaaniin perustuvaa tarinaa rauhallisesti. Hän malttaa peitellä, viipyillä ja jättää kertomatta. Elion ja Oliverin tunteet ja motiivit eivät aina ole selkeitä, mikä tekee heidän toiminnastaan vain kiinnostavampaa ja todellisempaa. Etäiset kuvat hallitsevat, joten harvat lähikuvat saavat valtavan tehon." "Visuaalisesti Call Me by Your Name on muutenkin äärimmäisen kaunis, näyttämättä liian viimeistellyltä. Kuvaaja Sayombhu Mukdeepromin (mm. Setä Boonmeen edelliset elämät, R&A 2010) ansiosta jokin selittämätön ja tuntematon on läsnä jokaisessa kuvassa. Elokuvan rytmiin puolestaan vaikuttaa käsikirjoittajana toiminut James Ivory, joka tunnetaan muun muassa klassikoiksi muodostuneiden 1980-luvun gay-elokuvien (mm. Maurice, 1987) ohjaajana." "Call Me by Your Name on rakkauden lisäksi elokuva muistista ja muistoista. Siksi on ilo ja kunnia esittää se 30-vuotisjuhliaan viettävän R&A:n avajaisissa. Viimeistään kaunis loppujakso kohottaa Guadagninon ohjauksen rakkauselokuvien aateliin. " Pekka Lanerva Jordan Hoffman quoted in the HIFF Catalogue: " […] [T]here’s a scene near the end of Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of André Aciman’s novel Call Me by Your Name between Michael Stuhlbarg and Timothée Chalamet that is, I feel confident in saying, one of the best exchanges between father and son in the history of cinema. We’ll all be quoting from it for the rest of our lives." "For many it will be a moment of wish fulfilment, and that may go doubly for queer people whose parents tragically reject them for their nature. The scene is touching and triumphant, but it wouldn’t work on an island. It comes after a build-up, an unhurried coming-of-age tale set in 1980s Italy reminiscent of the best of Eric Rohmer, Bernardo Bertolucci and André Téchiné, in which Elio (Chalamet) falls in love with Oliver (Armie Hammer) and needs to decide how he’ll direct the rest of his life." "Call Me by Your Name is a masterful work because of the specificity of its details. This is not a love story that »just happens to be gay». The level of trust and strength these characters share brings a richness that is not necessarily known to a universal audience. But the craft on display from all involved is an example, yet again, of how movies can create empathy in an almost spiritual way. This is a major entry in the canon of queer cinema. " Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian AA: There was a wonderful atmosphere in the opening gala of the 30th Jubileum edition of Love & Anarchy the Helsinki International Film Festival. It was drizzling in the warm autumn evening as the long queue started to move briskly into the Savoy Theatre (which I learned to know in the 1960s as Cinerama Savoy – here I saw 2001 A Space Odyssey in 70 mm during its first run, and here I remember seeing Finnish Film Archive screenings in scope, including Leo McCarey's Satan Never Sleeps). A harmonica band played the opening number. It was Juhana Nuorvala's composition "What's a Nice Chord Like You Doing in a Piece Like This" (1996), dedicated to Taylor Mead and composed originally for the festival. Credits to Veli Kujala, Niko Kumpuvaara, Harri Kuusijärvi, Matti Pulkki, and Janne Valkeajärvi. The festival director Pekka Lanerva gave an emotional speech thanking everybody in the festival team over the decades. The core of founders, "the fantastic four", Pekka Lanerva, Eija Niskanen, Matti Paunio, and Mika Siltala, took the bows in front of the audience while a photograph of the same team 30 years ago was projected on the screen. The opening gala film, Luca Guadagnino's Call Me by Your Name, based on a novel by André Aciman, is Italian, shot in gorgeous Cremona in Lombardy, and yet is multi-lingual. Languages include Italian, English, French, German, and even a bit of Hebrew. There is a strong sense of continuity in history. The father (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a professor specializing in antiquity. Oliver (Armie Hammer) is his visiting American assistant. The passion for languages, reading, and understanding history belongs to the core fabric of the movie which is set in the summer of 1983. A passion of music is equally central. The son Elio (Timothée Chalamet) is talented in music, and early on in the film he plays variations on a Bach theme on the piano – by Liszt, Busoni, and himself. At the same time the film is deeply sensual, and it includes awakenings for Elio in the secrets of both heterosexual love – with Marzia (Esther Garrel) – and homosexual love, with Oliver. The latter experience is the more deeply shattering. There is a new angle in the account of this awakening, at least for mainstream cinema. In 1983, the world in general is prejudiced against homosexuality, but Elio's father is uniquely understanding and supportive. I don't remember seeing a character or a dialogue like this in a film before. Guadagnino's film deals with tradition and is itself a part of a tradition in cinema – Call Me by Your Name belongs to a continuity with Luchino Visconti (Gruppo di famiglia in un interno) and Bernardo Bertolucci (Stealing Beauty), as well as the work of the screenwriter James Ivory, including his E. M. Forster film adaptation Maurice. The archaeological scenes also remind us of Roberto Rossellini's Viaggio in Italia, which is also about Italy seen with eyes of foreigners. Armie Hammer's character in this movie belongs also to a tradition – reminding us of Jean Marais in the films of Jean Cocteau and Helmut Berger in the work of Visconti. There is a strong sense of a surface narcissism in his performance. The Finnish term is " kuvankaunis " ("pretty as an image") with a double meaning. Call Me by Your Name is a beautiful film that respects the intelligence of the audience. Digital keeps getting better. A sense of nature is essential in this film in the same way as in Stealing Beauty. The digital projection did justice to the cinematography of Sayombhu Mukdeeprom whom we have learned to admire in the films of Apitchatpong Weerasethakul.

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